Not only does Grand Rapids Children's Museum have a new full-size cargo van that will serve as a museum on wheels, but they're also asking the public to help name it!
Sponsored by Delta Dental, the van will hit the road in March 2020—staffed by GRCM employees—and will travel across the state offering open-ended programming, traveling exhibits, hands-on activities, and creative problem-solving challenges throughout Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Holland, Kalamazoo, and Lansing.
"What an honor it is to have Delta Dental as a partner, to help us further our reach throughout the state of Michigan to ensure that every child has access to play," said Maggie Lancaster, Chief Executive Officer, Grand Rapids Children's Museum. "We know not everyone can reach us, but with the help and support of Delta Dental, we now have the means to go outside of our walls.
"With our two missions working together, we are so excited to serve children and families in this unique and playful way."
A recent American Academy of Pediatrics report encourages pediatricians to write a "prescription for play" at well visits, recommending an hour of unstructured play each day for healthy child development. The museum on wheels will take play to communities and institutions across West Michigan, with a focus on reaching those who face the most significant barriers to the access of play.
"Setting aside time for play each day is critical to the healthy social, emotional and physical development of young children," said Lancaster. "There are so many barriers today for our kids to get to the museum, and we're not going to stay inside our four walls anymore. Our new museum on wheels lets us bring play to you."
GRCM is seeking community input on a name for the museum on wheels. Submit your name idea for a chance to get your name featured on the designed van. The winner will receive a free family membership to the museum for a year, a $90 value, and will be invited to attend a grand opening/unveiling media event.
The naming contest runs through November 14, 2019, so get those creative juices flowing!
Courtesy of Grand Rapids Children's Museum.